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Subject: ZunTzu - Online Boardgaming Platform rss

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Ian Wakeham
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Has anyone had any online experience of this piece of software yet? You can see it at www.zuntzu.com/. I downloaded it back in August when the developer posted about it on BGG. I didn't play online but I was very impressed with the animated dice rolling across the screen (and not demolishing all the pieces), but was underwhelmed with the available games.

But I had a look at the site today and already they've got a few more gameboxes available to play, including BattleLore, The Civil War and Paths of Glory.

I wonder whether this is likely to rival VASSAL (and the rest) in the future?
 
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Clinton Paris
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I didn't catch this when it was announced before, but I'm glad that I checked out your link!

To me, this is the way to make a virtual board game engine in that it can recreate the feel of actual play.

The thing that Vassal has that other products will have to compete with is the open-endedness of it. Being that it's java, it's extensible by the gamebox creator, so you can add "features" that your game needs to be played online.

That, and it's platform independent--no small feature in the grand scheme of things.

I don't think Vassal is going anywhere yet, but ZunTzu is pretty darned cool!
 
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I downloaded the client and even wrote up a quick gamebox for Hacienda (the graphics are a bit ugly). I'm hoping to get a gamebox for Railroad Tycoon written up in the next month, just have to find time.
 
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Gary Krockover
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I've been using ZunTzu for my solitaire gaming lately and I'm really, really impressed with what Jerome (developer) has done so far. Making a gamebox for it is very quick and simple compared to VASSAL - what takes hours painstakingly entering traits and then characteristics for individual counters in VASSAL is done with a simple scan of the counter sheet in ZunTzu (that being one disadvantage though, if your game is punched already, don't bother).

Unlike VASSAL, ZunTzu isn't hosting gameboxes on his site, so until a central download area for them all is created, it's going to be hit or miss finding a gamebox for the game that you want (if you're copy of the game is unpunched and you have a scanner, make a gamebox yourself, it really is that easy).

I have not tried to connect and play online yet; the gameboxes that I have made are for some fairly non-mainstream games (JP3R, Landships!, The Schlieffen Plan) but I'm most curious to see how it goes. Jerome has a list of items that he's looking to put into future versions of ZunTzu and is generally open to new ideas - his forum has a number of posts about the program: http://www.zuntzu.com/forum/index.php
 
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Troy Davidson
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While ZunTzu looks good, I will still stick with VASSAL for the platform independence. There are already a ton of games out there for VASSAL and players who know the system.

Just my $.02.
 
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J C Lawrence
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batdog wrote:
I wonder whether this is likely to rival VASSAL (and the rest) in the future?


Zun Tzu is platform specific (Windows only). That's an instant deal breaker for me.
 
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Robert Ehlers
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clearclaw wrote:
batdog wrote:
I wonder whether this is likely to rival VASSAL (and the rest) in the future?


Zun Tzu is platform specific (Windows only). That's an instant deal breaker for me.


ditto
 
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Adam Starkweather
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RangerRob wrote:

ditto


Ditto that ditto
 
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Len Robinson
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clearclaw wrote:


Zun Tzu is platform specific (Windows only). That's an instant deal breaker for me.


Now let me see, Zun Tzu is free software but Windows only is a deal breaker for you. My, that's going to hurt their bottom line. Maybe somebody will offer to do a port over to other platforms but let's not knock what's being offered here.
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Tim Franklin
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lenrob49 wrote:

Now let me see, Zun Tzu is free software but Windows only is a deal breaker for you. My, that's going to hurt their bottom line. Maybe somebody will offer to do a port over to other platforms but let's not knock what's being offered here.


If we don't speak up, how will the author know that there is demand for non-Windows platforms?

$AOL here, for the record - looks very pretty and somewhat interesting, but no use to me without a Mac port.
 
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This question has come up before. Alas it looks like the author had decided to concentrate on windows only.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1662051#1662051
 
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Stephen Waits
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lenrob49 wrote:
Now let me see, Zun Tzu is free software but Windows only is a deal breaker for you. My, that's going to hurt their bottom line. Maybe somebody will offer to do a port over to other platforms but let's not knock what's being offered here.


Nobody's trying to hurt a bottom line, or knocking it. It looks great. Just saying that Mac people will have a more difficult time running it.

I have VMWare and XP on my Mac, so I could run it. Others might use Parallels or Boot Camp to run Windows. It's pretty easy and damn convenient.

The problem for me, at the moment anyway, is the lack of gameboxes.
 
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Josh Luub
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Yes, it is Windows only. That is indeed a drawback, since only 90% of people use Windows, that's 10% of people that won't be able to use it. (Ok, actually a lot of Mac people these days can run Windows on their machines if they want to).

In exchange, you get a very nice, quick, smooth interface that makes VASSAL look chunky, clunky, and slow. Which is going to be true for most cross-platform interfaces -- that's just the price you pay for giving up the native widget set for each platform. (Blizzard seems to have solved this problem, but they have lots of developers and lots of time and money to devote to the project, which I'm guessing Jerome doesn't have).

The thing that really sets VASSAL apart from ZunTzu isn't the platform independence, it's the fact that in VASSAL the modules can have all sorts of helpful stuff added in to them. One example is the "command radius" feature in the Victory Lost module. This is really nice! It even takes terrain into account. ZunTzu will probably never have features like that, as the developer has said that he intends for it to be a 'virtual table' and nothing else -- and it does that very well.

 
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J C Lawrence
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lenrob49 wrote:
Now let me see, Zun Tzu is free software but Windows only is a deal breaker for you.


Yes. It has two problems: 1) Platform-specific. 2) Closed source. The first is enough to make almost any product product worthless to me. I won't run/use platform specific software products. The second is just enough to lose my interest.

Quote:
My, that's going to hurt their bottom line.


Why would I care about their bottom line or lack of a bottom line?
 
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Tim McCarron
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batdog wrote:
I wonder whether this is likely to rival VASSAL (and the rest) in the future?


I think so. Vassal started somewhere and so did Cyberboard afterall

It's in it's infancy right now so will need more time to mature, but if the feature level eventually catches up or rivals vassal at some point and time, I would definetly start building game boxes for it. Until then - I'll wait and give it a little time to see what is planned to be added
 
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Gary Krockover
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I'll add a 3rd issue - no pbem support - though Jerome is working on a way around that. It may be that you send video files of your moves to each other, which honestly I don't see being feasible obviously; outrageous file sizes. But with the work that Jerome has done already (very professional looking application), I'm sure that he'll come up with something very satisfactory for handling pbem log files.
 
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Charles F.
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This gaming platform looks fantastic. One more choice available for gamebox designers and players. I commend Jerome for his service to the hobby.
 
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Brandon Pennington
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I really hope that there will be more support for this in the future!! I just discovered the 1960:TmotP gamebox and also the French Battlelore one and was blown away by the ease of use and the fluidity of th interface. I stay away from VASSAL if for no other reason than it is a pain to move around the board and switch windows, and it tends to run kinda slow. This is a very slick interface and seems easy enough to develop for. The lack of a gaming lobby hurts it pretty badly for me though

I will be keeping an eye out for new features though.
 
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Andrew Schultz
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Wow , this program looks great.

I'd love a Mac, but my favorite games are only on Windows, as are vast majority of games.

And although Mac advertisements harp on the operating system, the 3 most things people want for their computers is software, software, software.
 
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J C Lawrence
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bratgamer wrote:
And although Mac advertisements harp on the operating system, the 3 most things people want for their computers is software, software, software.


My three main interests after simple functionality, are accessibility, community participation and transparency. This perhaps explains why I don't either OS X or Windows. I want products that are evolved by their users, not for their users. It may also explain why I've not purchased any software for almost 15 years now.
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Phil Low
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Where can I get the sun Tzu Paths of Glory Game Box? the link on the zuntzu site doesn't work. Is it Illegal? if so never mind.
 
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